Health & Safety

May 31, 2012

Take a stand against sexual assault

Cpl. Jolene Bopp
Desert Warrior Staff

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Uniform Victim Advocates raise sexual assault awareness by implementing Bystander Intervention training for all non-commissioned officers on May 22.

The mandatory Bystander Intervention training is a program to raise sexual assault awareness and show NCOs how they can prevent an assault from happening. The training provides Marines ways to interfere without feeling like being a party crasher or offending people to keep everyone safe.

Advocates go through four days of training for the position alone and three days for the intervention training. Logistics Specialist 1st class Soledad Rodriguez, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron UVA, actually volunteered for the position.

“I volunteered to become the HHS UVA late 2010 because I just wanted to be able to help,” said Rodriguez, staff non-commissioned officer of freight section at distribution management. “With the (intervention) training we want NCOs to know they have the power to prevent a sexual assault.”

Now Rodriguez helps train HHS NCOs how to detect warning signs and prevent assaults from the beginning. To assist the UVA, a few videos consisting of an example of what could happen, real testaments, as well as a message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps are played.

In addition to learning prevention techniques, Marines are also educated on the consequences of committing sexual assault.

“A lot of Marines don’t realize they will have to register as a sex offender wherever they go,” said Rodriguez native of El Paso, Texas. “It doesn’t just go away, it is with them for the rest of their life.”

Rodriguez hopes NCOs will take this seriously and pass it on to their Marines to ensure a better and safer Marine Corps. To attend the next session on June 5 or 13, please contact Logistics Specialist 1st class Soledad Rodriguez at (928)269-3682 or

Sexual assault can happen to anyone, sister, mother, friend, daughter even a brother or son. Don’t let this happen to loved ones and fellow Marines. Be aware and prevent sexual assault.

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